While cruising around the blog-o-sphere, I came across this great autumn jar project. As I've been trying to come up with ideas on how to effectively use glass jars lately, I thought this one was worth mentioning, especially since we have entered Autumn.
Simple Mod Podge and actual leaves creates this festive, candle jar from Gingerbread Snowflake. Tea-lights or flame-less candles would produce the glow you want, safely.
Another idea I had was to do something with bare tree branches for an outdoor display. You can make it eerie or "autumny" depending on the decorations you choose to add. While surfing I came upon this mini-version to give you an idea of what I'm talking about.
Found this image first at the Homegoods blog and also again at PepperDesignBlog as I don't know who to give full credit to. I love the use of birdseed as an anchor for the branches. This would be a great table display and can be modified depending on what you choose to hang from the twigs (acorns, mini pine cones, small, colorful leaves).
Now imagine creating this on a much larger scale with big branches having lots of smaller twigs coming off the central branch/limb. Place it in a pot/planter large enough to accommodate it. (if I had a branch that was 5 or 6 feet tall, I would use a planter at least one foot tall) An old terra cotta planter you no longer want to use would look nice. Fill the planter with about 3/4 full of concrete mix to gauge how much you will need, then pour the dry contents back into an old bucket, add water (small amounts at at time) and mix. Consider plugging the bottom of your planter with a cotton ball to keep the concrete mixture from seeping out as it sets. (or place the planter somewhere that any seeping concrete won't make a mess until it sets up.) The cotton ball should still allow rain water to drain that may get into the top of the planter and seep down between the concrete mold and the inner walls of the planter.
You can either have somebody hold the branch upright as you pour the mixture into the planter or you can pour the mixture in first and then push your branch down till it hits the bottom. Either way, you will need to support the branch a bit until the mixture firms up enough to keep it standing upright.
After the concrete has dried, you can spray paint the branches any color (such as black or orange) if you choose, or keep them natural as I would do. Hang mini gourds or pumpkins from the branches via jute twine. Mask the concrete in the base with a decorative element such as leaves or fill with other gourds/pumpkins. Spanish moss would work too. The finished project would be best for an area that has overhead protection such as porch with a roof to inhibit rain water from filling the base. Hopefully any water that enters can drain down the sides enough to not become an issue.
I have not attempted this project but the only issue I could see may be the terra cotta possibly cracking or the dried concrete form coming loose from the pot itself. So, use caution when picking up to move from place to place. It's probably best to pick it up by the planter rather than by the branch. This decor could be used year after year if you have a place to store it.
You could also use it indoors instead. It would make a great focal piece for a children's Halloween party. Hang tissue paper ghosts from it and small bags of candy that the children can pick off. You can even hide the bags of candy in cuts of burlap fabric tied up with jute and have the kid's names painted on the outside or simple images of ghosts and pumpkins added.